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threatening to vote against raising the debt ceiling. if congress didn't act by august 2, the federal government would be unable to pay its bills. >> in 2010, when all these republicans were running for congress, ma of em awed tea partiers and the rest of them riding the tea party wave, the subject of the impending debt ceiling came up frequently and virtually all of them campaigned saying... pledging not to raise the debt ceiling. >> narrator: early on, republican freshmen attended orientation sessions. republican strategist frank luntz ran one of them. >> and i asked the question, how many of you are going to vote for the debt ceiling? and only three or four of them raised their hands. and i said, if you vote for the debt ceiling, the people who put you in office are going to knock you out. >> if you vote for the debt ceiling, you're voting for your own death certificate, political death certificate. >> narrator: for his part, the president decided to try something new: personal politics. he figured he could connect to the republican leader, john boehner. >> obama told his staff, jo
to the financial crisis. >> next timfrontline... >> the debt ceiling represents a massive fiscal heart attack. >> after the fiscal cliff. >> extreme ideological people who have never governed, and now they're congressmen. >> another crisis to come. >> enough is enough. you will not spend another dime, you will not put us in hock. >> frontline investigates the ongoing battle. >> throw the country into default... >> it is time to call their bluff. >> political armageddon. >> what's the word? madness. >> go to pbs.org/frontline foa closer look at civil cases and penalties that have come out of the crisis. >> this isotal about what went on on wall street. >> martin smith's extended interviews with ted kaufman, lanny breuer and phil angelides. more of frontline's coverage of the financial crisis, including our landmark series "money, power and wall street." connect to tfrontline community on facebook and twitter or tell us what you think at pbs.org/frontline. >> frontlinis made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. and by the corporation for public broadcas
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